January 22, 2016 at 10:59 am (Publications)
Tags: autopoiesis, cognitive science, cybernetics, enactive approach, mortality, self-production
The official magazine of the Mexican Academy of Science, Ciencia, has just published a special issue on Norbert Wiener and the origins of cybernetics.
I was invited to contribute an article based on my research regarding the relationship between cybernetics and the new cognitive science.
Title and abstract are as follows:
De la cibernética a la nueva ciencia cognitiva
El cibernético mexicano Rosenblueth y sus colegas Wiener y Bigelow argumentaban que el comportamiento dirigido a metas puede ser explicado por la retroalimentación negativa. Esta propuesta revolucionaria implicaba que nuestra experiencia al actuar intencionadamente podía hacerse compatible con una visión del mundo estrictamente científica, en la cual la naturaleza física no sigue ningún propósito. Años después, Wiener fundaría la cibernética bajo el principio de autogobierno, por ejemplo, con el uso de “bucles” de retroalimentación negativa para el control de máquinas. Sin embargo, los seres vivos no sólo son autogobernantes, sino que también, a través del metabolismo, son individuos físicamente autoproductivos. Esto es de importancia para el surgimiento de una nueva ciencia cognitiva que fundamenta el sentido de la existencia en el cuerpo biológico y, por lo tanto, en la mortalidad.
January 15, 2016 at 3:58 pm (Presentations, Visits)
Thanks to the kind invitation of Prof. Shigeru Taguchi I will spend a week in Japan giving seminars at various institutions. The current schedule looks as follows:
- Monday, Feb. 1: seminar on enactivism, biology of cognition, and predictive processing to be held at the Faculty of Philosophy and Cultural Sciences, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University
- Tuesday, Feb. 2: seminar on the study of social interaction at the Laboratory of Autonomous Systems Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Hokkaido University
- Wednesday, Feb. 3: seminar on consciousness, the hypothesis of direct perception, and the problem of other minds, also at the Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University
- Friday, Feb. 5: mini-workshop on the origins of the individual and a seminar on the implications of a movement-first approach to the origins of life and the genetic system, both to be held at the Earth-Life Science Institute of the Tokyo Institute of Technology
I am looking forward to seeing Sapporo and Tokyo again soon!
January 6, 2016 at 2:55 pm (Presentations)
Tags: complex systems, economics, sociology
Following on from my model of the collective government of ancient Teotihuacan, I was invited by Dr. Pavel Kuchar from the University of Guanajuato in Mexico to give two seminars.
The first seminar is directed at a highly interdisciplinary audience interested in learning about the applications of complex systems research in various scientific fields (see the workshop poster to the right).
The second seminar is targeted at economists and sociologists. The aim is to discuss how recent studies of interaction dynamics might help to integrate the traditional micro and macro scales of social system research.
November 12, 2015 at 4:09 pm (Events)
Tags: enactive cognitive science, higher-level cognition, human cognition, representation, symbolic cognition
We finally organized a meeting to present the edited book “Enactive Cognition at the Edge of Sense-Making: Making Sense of Non-Sense“.
When: 12:00, Nov. 26, 2015
Where: Auditorio César Carrizales, UAEM campus, Cuernavaca, Mexico
We will have one editor (Tom Froese), two authors (Juan Gonzalez and Dobromir Dotov), and several commentators (José Luis Díaz and others) presenting their views.
Attendees will be able to take advantage of a special discount to order their copy of the book from Palgrave Macmillan.
November 9, 2015 at 5:18 am (Presentations)
Tags: altered states of consciousness, hallucinations, human cognition, human prehistory, symbolic mind
I have been invited to give a seminar as part of the Biweekly Colloquium of the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” at the University of Kiel, Germany. The seminar will take place this afternoon, 16:00 – 18:00 Uhr; Building and room LS1 – R.204, Leibnizstrasse 1.
The role of ritualized mind alteration in the origins of the symbolic mind: A new perspective from cognitive science
The potential roles of altered states of consciousness and hallucinations for the early stages of human prehistory have been hotly debated. Recently, this debate has become caught up in disputes about how such altered states could have been induced and what kind of hallucinations might have been experienced. In this article I first sidestep these issues in order to return to the big question of why we might expect such states and experiences to have been important in the first place. I draw on ongoing developments in the cognitive sciences to provide several interdependent reasons for hypothesizing that they played an essential role in the origins and evolution of the symbolic human mind. Finally, I show that this hypothesis is unaffected by current disputes about the potential availability of certain psychoactive substances in prehistoric Africa and Europe.
Selected reading material:
Froese, T. (2013). Altered states and the prehistoric ritualization of the modern human mind. In C. Adams et al. (Eds.), Breaking Convention: Essays on Psychedelic Consciousness (pp. 10-21). London: Strange Attractor Press
Froese, T. (2015). The ritualised mind alteration hypothesis of the origins and evolution of the symbolic human mind. Rock Art Research, 32(1), 90-97
Froese, T., Woodward, A., & Ikegami, T. (2013). Turing instabilities in biology, culture, and consciousness? On the enactive origins of symbolic material culture. Adaptive Behavior, 21(3), 199-214
October 27, 2015 at 1:14 pm (Publications)
Tags: cognitive robotics, consciousness, embodied AI, perception, qualia, sensorimotor approach
As part of the Frontiers in Robotics and AI research topic “Re-enacting sensorimotor experience for cognition” we published a book review on this topic.
Book review: Contemporary sensorimotor theory
Tom Froese and Franklenin Sierra
Consciousness, with its irreducible subjective character, was almost exclusively a philosophical topic until relatively recently. Today, however, the problem of explaining the felt quality of experience has also become relevant to science and engineering, including robotics and AI: “What would we have to build into a robot so that it really felt the touch of a finger, the redness of red, or the hurt of a pain?” (O’Regan, 2014, p. 23). Yet a practical response still requires an adequate theory of consciousness, which brings us back to the hard problem: how can we account, from a scientific point of view, for the phenomenological character of experience? Over a decade ago, O’Regan and Noë (2001) proposed a new approach to these questions, the so-called sensorimotor approach to perceptual experience. How far has this approach come and what are its outstanding challenges? The volume Contemporary Sensorimotor Theory, edited by Bishop and Martin, takes stock of the current state of the field.